New Beginnings

For the past few days there has been a robin at my house that has been relentlessly attacking the windows. The most obvious reason is that it is mating season and he most likely saw his reflection so he was persistently staking his claim. So, I covered the exterior windows to remove the reflection, but he didn’t go away. In fact, as I was getting into my car to leave, he flew at my car window and then just sat on the hood looking at me.

“What do you want?!” I said looking at him through the windshield. He just tilted his head and flew away.

Frustrated, I just rolled my eyes and left.

A close friend of mine reminded me that birds are messengers and that he was trying to tell me something. I had no idea what that could be and then today it hit me.

For me, seeing a robin usually fills me with great joy because they are a sign of spring and spring is a time for new beginnings. However, this robin was making me angry and just seemed to be adding to my already sober and defeated mood.

My life since last fall has been in a bit of turmoil. I won’t go in to the details, but lets just say that every aspect of it has been a challenge. From work to house repairs to my love life, everything has been in what feels like a constant state of upheaval.

Each day it was becoming harder and harder to find peace. Something I had thought I mastered. I was very wrong.

The downward spiral started in September and by March, when I was beginning to think I had a handle on everything again, my greatest weakness reared its ugly head.

I felt broken and ashamed.

Mostly, I was disappointed in myself for allowing others the power to take my joy away, for letting their actions dictate my self-worth and my mood. I was better than that! I have done the work, found my center, my peace. So how in the world did I end up here again?

Because I am human.

Because I am a person who feels with great intensity and loves from the deepest caverns of my soul. I look for the best in people and when I don’t see it, I just look that much harder.

Call me naive, but I think the words we utter to another, whether it be a boss making promises to an employee or a lover professing their love, should be taken as truth or never spoken.

Perhaps that is the lesson here.

The only intentions one can truly count on are our own.

Last night for what is now going on almost a month, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned til 3AM playing the disappointments of the days past, over and over in my head. Until it all became too much.

The emptiness in my heart so heavy I could hold back the tears no longer. So I cried. And I begged the lord to make it all go away. Pleading with him to take away this pain, this love and the memories that keep swimming around in my brain. It had been a very long time since I felt this alone, this defeated, this heartbroken.

In that moment, I would have given anything to be angry. But with all the love in my heart, it was just not possible.

Catching my breath, still pleading for a resolution, I eventually fell into the only place of peace I have found these days…sleep.

I awoke this morning with an overwhelming feeling of disappointment that I had to struggle through yet another day.

And then it came…the anger. What a relief!

Sounds weird I know, that anger would be a relief, but it was.

Just feeling the anger, reminded me of who I was. I was no longer debilitated with sadness anymore, but rather empowered with madness! Not just at those who hurt me, but at myself.

How dare I allow the actions of others to bring me back down to a place I swore I would never be again. They have no power over me unless I let them and why did I let them?

I let them because I gave them much more credit than they deserved. I was not unworthy of their kindness or undeserving of their love. If anything, perhaps they were unworthy of mine?

“The biggest coward of a man is to awaken the love of a woman without the intention of loving her.” – Bob Marley

And for me, after anger comes clarity. You see, I am a person who believes in second chances, but there is rarely a third. Once I get pushed to the limit, there is usually no going back. For by that time, I have learned too much to revisit old feelings. Call it self preservation I guess, but by the time I have reached this point the words of another that once had so much power lose all meaning.

I know people can change and I will never rule out the possibility of them doing so. After all, this life is a learning experience for all of us. However, actions become their only hope in convincing me that the change is real.

And more importantly, this entire experience has taught me that I still have a great deal of growing to do myself. They say that timing is everything and as humans we want what we want and we want it right now!

It is important to remember though that perhaps the reason we are not getting what we want is because either we are not ready for it, it is not ready for us or it simply is not meant to be. And if it is not meant to be than there is surely something even better waiting around the corner. We just have to have faith that it will come to us when the time is right.

When I think about my little robin “stalker” now, I can finally see the message. Anger was door to the peace I was seeking and joy the window to new beginnings.

For anyone who is feeling down, left behind or unworthy, I hope you found this helpful. Just remember, you are the creator of your own reality and only you should have power over the way you feel.

Never give that power away.

 

Image courtesy of PaulR at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Advertisements

A Refreshing Change is in Your Future

Good Morning! I don’t know about you, but I can’t sleep. I woke up bursting with inspiration to write. Which is pretty amazing considering it has been a very long time since I felt the inspiration to do much of anything!

The last few months my life has been in complete upheaval. I have pushed my limits emotionally and physically. And I have been left feeling exhausted and overwhelmed for a number of reasons.

My current job is very demanding and although it may seem easy to some to simply walk away at the end of the work day or take a day off without worrying about the aftermath. For me, that is not an option. I take a great deal of pride in my work, so if there is still work to do my day does not end and many times my weekends never get started. It’s great for my employer, but not so great for me as I am beginning to realize. I enjoy my job and I love the people I work with, but I need to find some type of resolution to this before I get burned out.

I spend all day on the computer, so needless to say I have not felt much like jumping back on at the end of the day and writing. However, I forgot how important it was to my mental health to do just that. Writing is a way to center myself. A way to stay in tune with who I am and where I want to go from here. In the absence of it, I begin to lose myself.

Without regular reflection, I begin to fall back into old patterns and the great deal of progress I have made over the last few years begins to fade.

Well enough is enough! Every day we are faced with conflicts and challenges, that is a given. However, we do not need to allow them to rule us. There is a balance in everything and I just need to find it. How you ask?

The first step…just breathe…in with the good and out with the bad. Rather than having a mini meltdown over whatever is bothering me, I need to take a moment to take a deep breath and center myself before tackling whatever obstacle is in my way. The problem will still be there, but I will be better able to deal with it after a moment of catching my breath.

Dyer would say, “The morning has secrets to tell…don’t go back to sleep.”

Perhaps that was the reason for waking up at 4 AM bursting with inspiration today! Kind of a way of putting myself in check before tackling the tasks at hand 🙂

How Important is Alone Time?

I have had a lot going on these past few weeks and by the time this weekend hit, I could really feel it taking a toll. It was time to re-evaluate my life and my priorities. I don’t know about you, but when I don’t have some alone time to reflect on things, I begin to feel a bit anxious. Perhaps it is because I have spoiled myself over the last two years by making this time a priority. I know that I am no good for anyone or anything if I am not taking care of myself mentally and physically.

My loyal and ambitious nature can sometimes be my own destruction. I have this idea that I can do everything for everyone and once I start something I have to finish it! This is great for my friends, family and employers, but it is not always as great for me.

Although it is good to be dependable, it is necessary to know your limits and when the time comes to speak up for yourself despite the consequences.

I know I can do anything I put my mind to and I also know that in order to do so, I must have a clear head. And in order for me to have a clear head, it is very important that I have some alone time to organize my thoughts.

I struggle with an aim to please everyone and in many cases this results in taking on too much. As well as putting my personal needs on the back burner. I have thought long and hard about the road ahead and I have come to the conclusion that I am ready for a change.

As my life currently stands, I am spending the majority of my time working on the non-creative aspects of my life. It is daunting and at times very stressful. There is very little time in my day to be creative, inspired or constructive in my growth; much like the life I escaped in moving from Wisconsin in 2014. How did I fall back into the same patterns again? And more importantly, how do I get out of them? That is something I needed some alone time to figure out.

According to an article by Sherrie Bourg Carter in Psychology Today, the constant motion of daily life can hinder deep thinking and the ability to effectively work through one’s personal life challenges. Constant distractions such as meetings, phone calls and incoming emails cause tasks to take longer to complete and therefore make the work day less productive.

2. Solitude helps to improve concentration and increase productivityWhen you remove as many distractions and interruptions as you can from your day, you are better able to concentrate, which will help you get more work done in a shorter amount of time.. – Sherrie Bourg Carter

This may not be true for everyone, but it definitely is for me. When I am working from home with no distractions, I am way more efficient. Unnecessary meetings, phone calls or emails marked as important (when they are not) drive me nuts. Why spend time stressing/talking about what you need to get done instead of just doing it? I know there is a need for these things sometimes, but eliminating the unnecessary clears up time to do what is.

Time is precious and finite. And for that reason, I find it absolutely necessary to prioritize accordingly. Know what is important to you and put that at the top of your list. What a better way to do that than to have some much needed alone time. A moment of solitude, free from distractions, revitalizes the mind and helps those creative juices flow!

In doing so today, I have gained a better understanding of my true desire for my life moving forward. I will take the next two weeks to think it over, but I am pretty sure I have figured out what I would like my life to look like from here on out. It is not what one would call “ordinary”, but that is not a word I like very much anyway. How boring to be ordinary. I’d rather strive to be extraordinary!

Sometimes it takes a wrench being thrown into the mix to help you see more clearly and to remind you that you are in control of your own life. When you give this power to others, you hinder yourself from greatness.

Now go out there and seize the day! 🙂

A Powerful Transformation

You know that feeling you get when you want something so bad you are crawling out of your skin? And the longer it takes to get it the more you seem to want it. I would like to throw out there that maybe what you want is not necessarily what you need and the reason you are not getting it is because something bigger than ourselves is intervening.

I have found that when things don’t turn out the way we would like them to, instead of getting frustrated, it is better to appreciate the difference as a way of expanding our consciousness. All of the teachings I have been studying believe this contrast to be essential in our own personal growth.

In Bronnie Ware’s book, Top 5 Regrets of the Dying,  the number one regret was: I wish I would have had the courage to live the life I knew I was destined to live.

So how can we prevent this?

My suggestion would be to allow ourselves to listen to those inner callings. Pay attention to the pull that we feel from some invisible intelligence, burning desire, or inner light that is constantly speaking to us. Sadly, in many cases we make excuses to ignore it and find out later that we should have gone with our gut, am I right?

I am living proof that when you decide to start listening, your entire life can change. You begin going down a new road that leads to new experiences and opportunities. Ones that you may have never known before.

Deep down, I think we all know that we have a purpose, but for one reason or another we keep ourselves from finding out what it is. We tell ourselves that we are satisfied with our current condition out of fear of failure if we try to pursue another course of action. One that perhaps may mean more to us than any other we have ever encountered. This fear should be our worst enemy, not the puppet master manning our strings.

So, I challenge you to listen to that inner voice, whether it may be to take a different route home, shop at a different store or simply wear something different than you had originally planned for the day.

And then pay very close attention to the moments that manifest (however small they may be) as a result of doing just that.

I think we have all had that moment when we have said to ourselves, “I knew I should have…” or “I should’ve know better”.

Like the day I decided to bring my umbrella to work even though there was no call for rain (I walked to work at the time so it ended up making a huge difference in my day). I woke in the morning, checked the weather as I usually do and decided on an outfit. As I pulled my shirt from the closet, my umbrella fell at my feet and I thought to myself, “I don’t need you today”, but then a moment of doubt crept in that I ignored. I proceeded to finish getting ready, grabbed my back pack and as I walked towards the door I realized I needed something out of the hall closet. So I turned around and just as I opened the closet door another umbrella fell at my feet. An umbrella that oddly enough I had actually borrowed from work and needed to return, so I decided to take it along. Little did I know I would need it about 5 minutes after walking out the door.

Some would call this just a coincidence, but for me it was a sign of something larger at play. For me it was one of those moments of synchronicity that I simply could not ignore and as a result, I avoided a walk in the rain, a day of sitting in wet clothing and possibly the need for an attitude adjustment! haha

I have come to learn that if you allow your life to unfold naturally, you will naturally find your purpose and your peace.

There is a time for everything, not just the positive but the opposite negative aspects as well. I am not trying to tell you that every day is going to come up roses. There is a time for struggle, a time for pain, depression and so on, but in those moments, if you can  remember that there will also be a time for joy, fulfillment and rejoice, you may be better able to grow as a person.

And as you do, you get to a new place in your life where you begin to understand that it is all about balance.

It becomes quite a freeing feeling to realize that you actually have nothing to do, nothing you need to control. When you step back and keep yourself from telling others how they should live and what they should do, you begin to accept them for who and where they are. It is not your duty to control the lives of others and it puts so much unnecessary pressure on your life when you try to do so. It is one thing to care about someone and feel that you have their best interests at heart, but it is important to remember that you are viewing their situation through your own looking glass. What is best for you is not always best for them. Perhaps they need to take a wrong turn in order to learn a very valuable lesson that will serve them greatly in the future. Their life is not yours to lead, to judge or to fix. Just love them and allow their life and your own to unfold naturally.

One of the most powerful lessons in this you can ever learn, I had to learn as a young women. My own mother walked away at a time in my life when I needed her the most. And before that she had lied about her identity including passing down a name to me that was stolen from someone else. She kept me from having a relationship with my biological father and many other relatives that to this day I have yet to meet. These are all things that made me very angry and depressed for many years. It was a grudge that many would agree was a valid one, but what a weight it was to bare.

It was not until I was able to forgive my mother that a very powerful transformation was able to take place. And I did this through writing my memoir. Something I believe was the result of divine intervention. I believe that the opportunities that set the process in motion were sent to me by God or whatever you want to call that divine spirit or divine presence.

I started the process during a very difficult time in my life. I was at an all-time low emotionally & physically. Things were just not working out for me. I was overweight, my relationships were not working, I was drinking more frequently, and I had stopped growing creatively. Things were not horrible by any means, but I knew in my heart that I was not living up to my true potential. I realize now that it was because I was carrying around all this hatred and bitterness for my mother.

Once I was able to accept her for who she was, I no longer needed my mother to be someone she was not. She would never be fully present in my life. She would never be someone I was able to count on and that was okay because I was a stronger person as a result of her absence. My anger and sadness had turned into gratitude and confidence. And more importantly, it is because of this revelation that I was able to find my purpose. I believe I was meant to empower others, to help them down the path to finding their inner peace, inspiration and light. It gives me great joy, so much so that there is no denying that this is the journey I was meant to take.

When I was finally able to sever the attachment to those old wounds, my life took on a life changing transformation. Everything began to fall into place. My writing came more naturally and at a much higher level. I embarked on the journey of self-improvement that I have been sharing with all of you and I have never felt better.

Relationships that never worked out have all turned out to be blessings in disguise. Loves I thought had been lost were never really present to begin with and gave me great insight into traits that were merely lacking in myself; confidence, security, self-assurance, faith, trust and acceptance. I am no longer on the hunt for love because  I know it will come when the time is right and for that reason I hold no intention of rushing it because if the time is not right, it will never work out. To all those who have tossed me aside, I have nothing but gratitude for they unknowingly saved me from myself.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to tell anyone how to live. I am simply sharing my experiences and this life altering revelation with you in the hopes that it may help in some way to improve areas of your life that you feel need addressing. Like many, I used to place blame on others for the way my life was. It was not until I took responsibility for my current condition that I was able to truly make a change. The point I want to drill home is that from my experience, I have found that we have the power within us to seize the opportunity in any given moment and make a change. Whatever it is that is creating stress in our lives is in itself a chance to learn, a chance to grow and a chance to change our circumstance. How you feel is a choice. You can choose to be angry or you can chose to be fulfilled and the choice you make will set the pace for all that comes next.

It is my greatest desire for you to find joy among this vast environment of negativity that can sometimes feel inescapable. And that at the end of your days you will hold no regrets, but instead hold an enormous amount of gratitude for the life you have led.

Wishing you all the best! Thank you for reading.

My Golden Buzzer

I noticed something about myself recently. A confirmation that I have made great strides on this journey of reconnecting with myself and others.

I would like to share my experience in the hopes that it may be helpful to anyone who has ever felt lost.

What I noticed was that I have been able to consistently be at peace with where I am in any given moment. I allow myself to feel, but then to let go. I have found a love for myself that is nurturing and safe. Alleviating the need to constantly search for it in something or someone else. In times of sorrow, I reflect. In times of anger, I reflect.

And in times of joy and peace, I savor.

It has allowed me to fill my mind with appreciation. Appreciation that holds me together during times of hurt and disappointment. Appreciation that helps me grow in those moments of reflection.

It brings me to a peaceful state of gratitude. Where I stand strong and ready to move forward.

As a result, I have found that people’s opinions no longer carry such a hefty weight. Sure I value them and take them to heart, but in the end any decision I make will be mine alone.

Instead of spending all day on the phone asking people what I should do about something, I ask a few in my inner circle for their thoughts, ponder them for a while and then when the time is right I go with the decision that best resonates with me.

It may sound like a simple, normal process to some, but for me it was not. I would over think every situation I was faced with. However big or small, I would over think it to death. Which meant I was always thinking about the fact that I had to make a decision about it and all the possible outcomes. I am pretty sure that is what they mean by driving oneself insane. I was on my way to crazy town thinking like that. Where is the joy in any of those moments?

That was the problem. After years and years of winding myself up into a state of exhaustion, I had slowly pushed away all my joy, all my peace of mind. I didn’t know what was genuine anymore. I was physically present, but never really there. It is what eventually caused me to up root everything and move to Colorado.

It has been two years now and when I look back on that time, that person, well I don’t know if I could even begin to explain it to you.

Becoming aware of such a powerful shift in my consciousness was much like the Golden Buzzer on America’s Got Talent…haha (click here if you don’t know what I am talking about)

The scene goes in slow motion as you see the joy rise up in them as the confetti covers their face. Its that gasp for breath as they try to comprehend the gravity of what has just happened. All their hard work and dedication has lead up to that moment and in a split second their lives are changed.

Only this time its my Golden Buzzer…its my hard work and dedication that is changing my life, changing me for the better. 🙂

Not very long ago I wrote to you about a challenge I had given myself after reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I decided to tackle the most challenging of the four: Don’t Take Things Personally.

For along time this had been a major struggle in my life. Much to the point where it was turning me in to a recluse. My mind was always distracted from the moment at hand, thinking about what others may think of me, needing their approval. It made me so uncomfortable that I just stopped socializing.

I remember one day in reconnecting with my uncle after many years, he made an observation that finally made me aware of the shift in myself that had taken place in my life (some time in college I’m guessing).

We were talking and I made the comment that I didn’t go out much because I wasn’t a social butterfly.

“What?! You have always been super social, what are you talking about?”

I was flooded with emotion. It was like this switch finally turned on a light inside of me that had been dormant for years. He was absolutely right. Back when we lived together (just after I graduated high-school) I was always out socializing. And I remember being pretty fearless. I was who I was and although I would adhere to social graces and common courtesy, I didn’t really care that much about your opinion of me.

Having social anxiety was just the story that I had been telling myself over and over again for years. So long that there was no doubt in my mind that it was true. But it wasn’t true.

For me, the cure for my anxiety was merely mastering a way to find peace in any circumstance no matter how uncomfortable. Surrendering to what is without losing sight of what is yet to come.

When I learned to appreciate the excitement of life’s challenges, I was able to be grateful for the experience. Because all those challenges and experiences are what makes me who I am.

And that is exactly what was missing. For all these years, that something I had been searching for was me.